I can’t imagine life without Dancing Red Ranch. It’s where Ross and I head most weekends to breathe in the natural beauty of the Texas Hill Country. Surrounded by stands of live oak trees, visited by deer and hummingbirds, overlooking a valley and hills beyond, we delight in a spaciousness that helps keep us clear, grounded, and present — all week long.
The first (of many) projects we undertook a decade ago was the trail. It’s about three-quarters of a mile down to the creek from the deck and then back up a steep slope to the well-house garden.
On Sunday mornings, after blueberry pancakes, we walk the loop, stopping to sit by the creek and then again to admire the view across the valley. We take it slow, noticing how the creek is flowing, what water creatures we can find, the color of the landscape, the direction of the breeze.
We miss the hummingbirds when they leave for other parts. We never cease to squeal like kids when we find a new bird’s nest. We talk to the deer and revel in thunderstorms from the viewing platform that is our bed. We tend to our lavender field. Every night there’s a different sunset to admire.
I’m glad to see that the new research confirming the benefits of time in nature has been trending on Facebook. I never needed to be convinced that weekends at the ranch help me to retain a sense of calm and return to my deepest self, but maybe the new research will convince more people to spend some time with nature, whether it’s a weekend ranch retreat or a stroll around the pocket park across the street. And that’s a good thing.